Pow-Wow celebrates American Indian culture

By Jermaine Pigee

DeKALB | The 13th-annual American Indian Pow-Wow will take place this Saturday at the Campus Recreation Center.

This free event will feature traditional American Indian dance, food and crafts. The event lasts all day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with grand entry starting at 1 p.m.

“These events are held everywhere [American] Indian people live,” said David Armstrong, president of N.A.T.I.O.N.S. “People come from all over to celebrate, sing and dance. These dances and songs are a major part of our culture and we welcome everyone to come and share them with us.”

Not only will there be singing and dancing, but a flute player from Tennessee will perform from about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as vendors from all over the nation selling traditional native crafts, music and other items.

People can donate money to N.A.T.I.O.N.S., which stands for Native Americans Together Insuring Our Nations Sovereignty.

“The money raised at the Pow-Wow will help pay for our spring programming,” Armstrong said. “We would like to have some nationally-known speakers come, in so money from our raffles and sales of T-shirts go to help fund those events. We also have donation cans out for our Native Scholarship Fund, which we are trying to get endowed, which will provide a financial opportunity for Native American students to come to NIU.”

The Pow-Wow serves other purposes as well.

“One of the purposes of the Pow-Wow is to educate the public about our language, culture, our art and things like that,” said N.A.T.I.O.N.S. faculty adviser Michael Augsburger.

The Pow-Wow plans to have about 5,000 people attend the event, Augsburger said.

“The people come out to the event because they appreciate our native culture and art, or they want to know more about it,” Augsburger said. “People also come out to sell their supplies, or they come out to help support our scholarship fund.”

Jermaine Pigee is a Diversity beat reporter for the Northern Star.